Okay I know this is going to be a pretty long post but I really need some help and advice. For the past 5 months or so I've been housing a Green Spotted Puffer in a 20 gallon tank with a SG
of around 1.018. Well, I feel like he needs an upgrade, even though he's still only about 2 and a half inches long, but I want to go full marine with the new tank so that I can have some more fish than just him. I'm gunna be going with a 40 gallon breeder tank most likely but before I buy ANYTHING I wanna go over everything here and make sure I've done all of my research correctly and that I know what I'm doing.
Okay so first thing's first, I'm gunna get the tank. Then I plan on getting about 20lbs of live sand with 20lbs of crushed coral to mix together simply because I like the look of it and have read that too much live sand can cause your tank to crash if it is seeded "too much". Then I'm going to get about 30 pounds of base rock and 10 pounds of live UNcured rock. Then I'm going to get a powerhead and some more decor for the tank and basically I think I'll be ready to go. I don't want a protein skimmer because I honestly don't have the money for one. I'd rather do water changes more often than purchase a protein skimmer. I also feel like I'll be okay since it's only gunna be a 40 gallon tank.
So I'm gunna fill my tank up about 6 inches or so with dechlorinated (with SeaChem prime) tap water with a SG
of 1.021 and add the sand and coral substrate to the water.
Then I'm gunna wait till it settles a bit and fill the rest of the tank up most of the way with more dechlorinated tap water with a SG
of 1.021 as well.
Then I'm gunna add my baserock and put the UNcured live rock on top of it.
I'm also gunna add some more decor (caves, fake corals, ect.)
I'll then add my powerhead (need help on figuring out what type and what output). I figure one will be enough because, again, it's only a 40 gallon tank and I'm really on a tight budget.
I'll also turn on my 200 watt heater and set it to around 79 degrees.
Then I wait.....
If I'm not mistaken the dead matter in the live rock will be released into the water, causing an ammonia spike.
The bacteria in the tank will then build up within the live rock and live sand in order to turn the ammonia into nitrites which will result in my ammonia levels dropping down to zero and my nitrite levels spiking.
The bacteria will then build up even more, turning the nitrites into nitrates and at this point, once my ammonia levels and nitrite levels are reading zero, the live rock, live sand, and base rock will all be seeded with the bacteria that can sucessfully carry out the nitrogen cycle in my tank. At this point I can slowly begin to add fish.
I assume I'll only add my green spotted puffer, a false percula clown or two, a yellowtail damsel or two, and maybe one other fish.
I'll do 10% water changes weekly and monitor the water parameters as well.
Now, with all that being said, do I know what I'm doing? Am I going to have any unexpected suprises? PLEASE inform me on anything I didn't cover in this post, but don't be too mean because I'm a beginner and I'm learning and that's why I'm here=] Thanks.